Dunnedin Ventures Inc (CVE:DVI) (OTCMKTS:OCPFF) CEO Claudia Tornquist told shareholders Monday that 2019 was a transitional year for the Vancouver firm, which now has three advanced copper-porphyry projects with “significant” discovery potential.
In a letter to shareholders, Tornquist said the company seized the opportunity to capitalize on market sentiment shifting in favor of copper porphyry assets over diamond exploration.
“To that end, we added to our project portfolio with the acquisition of two promising porphyry projects, the MPD copper-gold project in southern British Columbia and the Mohave copper-molybdenum-silver project in Arizona,” said Tornquist in a letter to investors.
“Together with our Trapper copper-gold project in the northern Golden Triangle we now own 100% of three advanced-stage copper porphyry exploration projects in North America, all of which have large footprints and the potential to yield major deposits,” she added.
MPD copper-gold porphyry project
The firm's recent focus has been the MPD copper-gold porphyry project, from where news flow has been encouraging.
“Our strategic priority is to drill MPD and Mohave as both projects have significant discovery potential, are accessible year-round and are blessed with great infrastructure, including paved highways within a kilometer of the drill targets,” said Tornquist.
The company’s MPD copper-gold porphyry project is a large 78.5-kilometre land package in British Columbia, which Dunnedin believe overlies a gold-rich porphyry system of “significant size.”
In November, the company completed its maiden drill program at the MPD project. It is expecting assays in January after the work was completed on time and below budget. It exceeded the target of 1,500 metres by completing 1,766 metres in three separate holes.
“The samples from Dunnedin's drill program are currently in the lab and assay results are expected this month,” said Tornquist. “We are optimistic about this early round of drilling.”
Figure 2: MPD Project Prime Zone Cross Section
All holes hit prospective sulphide-bearing, altered porphyritic host rocks, the firm added.
Mohave copper porphyry project
Tornquist added that the group would now focus on exploration plans for 2020, which include further drilling at MPD and an initial exploration program at its copper porphyry Mohave project in Arizona, in the US.
“In 2019, Dunnedin's technical team reviewed the historic work on the project. We are ready to start exploration on the ground in 2020 starting with a geophysical modelling and infill, followed by drilling,” said Tornquist.
Trapper copper-gold porphyry project
The third project in Dunnedin's copper portfolio is its 100% owned Trapper project at British Columbia’s prolific Golden Triangle which was drilled in 2019 with excellent results.
“Trapper is a textbook copper-gold porphyry complex with an alteration signature of over 15 kilometres,” said Tornquist. “It’s an exciting project that provides Dunnedin with additional optionality for value creation.”
Growing demand for copper
Tornquist expanded on the growing demand for copper. “Battery powered electrical cars will use up to 10 times more copper than today’s conventional cars. Clean energy from solar and wind will need four-to-six times more copper than energy generation from fossil fuels,” said Tornquist.
According to Rio Tinto, more copper will be required in the next 25 years than was consumed in the last 500 years. The recent China-US trade deal was a catalyst in nudging copper prices to a seven-month high in December.
“The pipeline of copper development projects is sparse, and most analysts forecast a supply gap opening up that will need significantly higher copper prices in the coming years to be filled,” pointed out Tornquist.
Figure 1: Copper Supply/Demand (Source: Wood Mackenzie, Rio Tinto)
Dunnedin's recent porphyry assets were evaluated and selected by Dunnedin's founder and chairman Chris Taylor, who is also the founder CEO of sister company Great Bear Resources.
Tornquist’s own background includes strong experience in the copper space. As general manager at Rio Tinto, she was involved in feasibility studies at some of the world's largest copper mines like Escondida and Oyu Tolgoi.
Similarly, Jeff Ward who is vice president exploration, and Andrew Berry who is vice president operations, have co-managed successful exploration and drilling campaigns with budgets exceeding C$20 million.
Outlook for 2020
“We look forward to releasing the results from our first drill campaign at MPD soon and are planning to follow up with further drilling in the months ahead,” said Tornquist.
“In addition, our Mohave project offers further low-cost/high-impact exploration opportunity. As our porphyry assets can be drilled year-round you can look for a steady stream of exploration news from Dunnedin in 2020,” she promised.
The exploration company CEO drew attention to how explorers have been rewarded in the capital markets for major copper-gold discoveries.
“Companies in British Columbia such as GT Gold have generated significant increases in shareholder value through deeper drill testing of porphyry targets,” said Tornquist.
“Having acquired MPD and Mohave because of their large porphyry footprints and encouraging shallow drill results, Dunnedin is advancing these projects with a similar ambitious goal — the discovery of a large copper porphyry system that was hiding in plain sight, right beside the highway and surrounded by producing mines.”
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive